Watch Rep. Duncan Hunter Try to Cross a Border Illegally and Fail

Turns out the fence wasn’t really a border at all.

Denis Poroy/AP

Beleaguered California Republican congressman Duncan Hunter, who was indicted last year for illegally using campaign funds to pay for personal expenses, recently took a trip to Yuma, Arizona, to demonstrate once and for all how easy it is to cross the border between the United States and Mexico. 

In a Facebook video released Thursday, Hunter, looking like an unshaven undercover agent standing in the dark, claimed to be 15 meters from the border with Mexico. He said that the country was being “overwhelmed” by immigrants trying to enter and wanted to show exactly how porous our borders were. He repeated how necessary it was for Congress to “secure the border and build a wall.”

“We expect to stop transnational terrorists, families, all illegal aliens from crossing the border,” he said incredulously as he pointed to a low fence he thought marked  the border and easily climbed over it. Unfortunately, he missed his target. A Border Patrol spokesman told the Times of San Diego that the actual border was along the Colorado River 100 feet away from where Hunter stood. 

“Hunter either broke the law and violated conditions of his release issued by a judge not to leave the continental US, or he was pulling a political stunt and lied,” his one-time Democratic opponent Ammar Campa-Najjar said in a statement to NBC News on Friday. Earlier this year, Campa-Najjar announced he would challenge Hunter again in 2020. 

In August, a federal judge told Hunter and his wife Margaret, his former campaign manager, that they couldn’t leave the United States or travel to Mexico while they were out on bail. Hunter’s spokesman told the Times of San Diego that Campa-Najjar’s insistence that Hunter violated his parole represented a “non-issue typical of someone desperate for a headline” that took the focus away from border security. 

Hunter and his wife are expected to go on trial in September. 


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.